The 63-year-old man severely beaten in the Dillard’s parking garage in Green Hills has filed suit against the company, saying it was negligent in not taking appropriate security measures in the face of “the wide scope and high severity of criminal activity” near its store.
In his suit, which was filed June 5 in Davidson County Circuit Court, Bob DeMoss is seeking $10 million in compensation and another $10 million in punitive damages from Arkansas-based Dillard’s Inc.
On March 3, DeMoss parked his car at the parking garage on Abbott Martin Road. He was then attacked by four individuals, who were allegedly seeking money to buy drugs. One of the four struck DeMoss in the back of the head with an aluminum baseball bat and then hit him several more times in the head.
DeMoss sustained “a fractured skull, facial fractures, brain damage, cognitive deficits and blindness,” injuries that have left him needing around-the-clock rehabilitation care at Stallworth Rehabilitation Center.
DeMoss’s attorney, John Norris of downtown-based Norris & Norris PLC, calls his client’s injuries catastrophic. DeMoss’ niece and conservator, Catherine Robette Campbell, is also a party to the lawsuit.
The suit — which is available here — alleges that the parking garage was poorly lit and that there was no security presence when the attack occurred. DeMoss and Campbell also say in the suit that “a very substantial” amount of criminal activity had occurred near the garage, creating a public-safety obligation for the department store operator.
“Defendants knew or had reason to know… that criminal acts against users of the parking garage where [DeMoss] was attacked were reasonably foreseeable.”
A voicemail left Tuesday with Dillard’s corporate headquarters in Little Rock was not immediately returned.
All four suspects in DeMoss’ attack were eventually arrested and charged with especially aggravated battery.